Chapter 3 : Is Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus an Emerging Causative Agent of Pneumonia?

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Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) is the first member of a new family of nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses called the . Another giant virus, named mamavirus, was discovered in 2008 and is considered another APMV strain. Moreover, nosocomially acquired pneumonias account for 10 to 15% of all hospital-acquired infections, and pneumonia is actually the leading cause of nosocomial infection in intensive care units (ICU), where ventilator-associated pneumonias (VAP) are the most frequently observed hospital-acquired infections and are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Mimivirus was one of the agents investigated by serological testing, among other conventional pneumonia agents. Among pneumonia patients with amoeba-associated pathogens, more had seroconversion to mimivirus (5 cases) than to any other pathogen. In addition, mimivirus was second among the four most frequently encountered agents of pneumonia diagnosed with high levels of evidence (3.8%), behind (4.8%) but before (1.9%) and (1.4%). It should be noted that only one-third of the therapeutic regimens are effective in pneumonia patients needing ventilators. Serology linked APMV to pneumonia, but infection was documented by PCR in only one patient. current data prompt us to consider APMV and its relatives as biosafety level 2 pathogens and to enforce the respiratory care protocols aimed at limiting exposure to amoeba-associated microorganisms (AAMs).

Citation: Colson P, Raoult D. 2010. Is Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus an Emerging Causative Agent of Pneumonia?, p 33-51. In Scheld W, Grayson M, Hughes J (ed), Emerging Infections 9. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816803.ch3
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Image of Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Transmission electron microscopy of mimivirus particles with ruthenium red staining.

Citation: Colson P, Raoult D. 2010. Is Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus an Emerging Causative Agent of Pneumonia?, p 33-51. In Scheld W, Grayson M, Hughes J (ed), Emerging Infections 9. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816803.ch3
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Image of Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Transmission electron microscopy of mimivirus in an infected amoeba.

Citation: Colson P, Raoult D. 2010. Is Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus an Emerging Causative Agent of Pneumonia?, p 33-51. In Scheld W, Grayson M, Hughes J (ed), Emerging Infections 9. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816803.ch3
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Table 1.

Summary of clinical studies that tested pneumonia patients for mimivirus infections

Citation: Colson P, Raoult D. 2010. Is Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus an Emerging Causative Agent of Pneumonia?, p 33-51. In Scheld W, Grayson M, Hughes J (ed), Emerging Infections 9. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816803.ch3
Generic image for table
Table 2.

Data for and against pathogenicity

Citation: Colson P, Raoult D. 2010. Is Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus an Emerging Causative Agent of Pneumonia?, p 33-51. In Scheld W, Grayson M, Hughes J (ed), Emerging Infections 9. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816803.ch3
Generic image for table
Table 3.

Mismatches with primers and probes used in PCR assays in Dare et al.’s study ( )

Citation: Colson P, Raoult D. 2010. Is Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus an Emerging Causative Agent of Pneumonia?, p 33-51. In Scheld W, Grayson M, Hughes J (ed), Emerging Infections 9. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816803.ch3

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